A good counter argument to the New York Times piece by Elisabeth Rosenthal, Let’s Not Get Physicals. Main point is that it provides an annual review of health issues, and like any type of annual review exercise, provides the occasion to go through potential issues. Quote:
I suppose that Dr. Rosenthal’s point is to de-emphasize the testing component. In my view, if anything many individuals could benefit from more frequent (biannual or quarterly) preventive checks to keep them on track with their health goals and risk factors — perhaps this would keep more folks out of the ER and hospital. As to the “testing” component of the annual physical, the visit provides an opportunity for patient and physician to discuss the state of the art, information that the patient might be reading online, and the evidence for and against screening for particular conditions. Which screening tests health insurance should pay for is a separate question.